How to Stop Procrastinating, and Why We Do It?

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Are you procrastinating? maybe, yes, but it does not mean you are doing it alone. I am your best friend in this run! because I used to procrastinate all the time, but not now. so here I want to show you exactly how to stop procrastinating?

What is procrastination?

Delaying work is procrastination, Basically, it’s a Latin word procrastinatus! which means to put something on tomorrow.

When you are playing games, and waiting for tomorrow to work/study you are procrastinating. so let’s learn why you are procrastinating? and how to stop procreating?

why we procrastinate how to stop procrastination tips to avoid procrastination ways to avoid procrastinating

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Why we procrastinate?

why we procrastinate

Before you jump into, how to stop procrastinating? you must know why we procrastinate? so here we are going to know exactly what causes procrastination.

Procrastination is a very common problem, and the research shows it is increasing as time passes.

Remember! Everyone procrastinates but not everyone is a procrastinator. it is a big problem, but it does not mean it doesn’t have a solution.

Let’s first understand why we procrastinate?

1) Negative Emotions

The number one reason you procrastinate is negative emotions.

What are the negative emotions? negative emotions are those, which happen when you think about your work, and you feel worse.

for example, fear of failure is a negative emotion. when you think of work, but at the same time it reminds you of failure, you don’t want to work anymore.

Because this feeling of fear is so strong, it tells you, why you should not work?

Let’s say you want to prepare for your exams, but the monkey inside your mind whispers, what if you didn’t pass the Exams?

Your mind is telling you, I want sure things, I can’t work for something that I don’t know.

The difference between procrastinators and non-procrastinators is, they don’t give attention to negative emotions. They have negative emotions too, but they just don’t give an ear to it.

2) Distractions

a girl sitting on a sofa

Our mind is distracted very easily, that’s because the default mode of our mind is survival.

Our mind doesn’t know the future, it only knows the current situations. that’s why it demands instant gratification.

So when you are about to work, but at the same time, your mind tells you about your favorite game/movie.  which is instant gratification, while working hard and then waiting for results is delayed gratification.

At this point, doing work becomes so hard, you know it’s very important to complete my task. But your mind consistently tells you, that you are not gonna enjoy it.

Our mind always tries to avoid difficult things, that’s how our mind works. it doesn’t want any kind of burden, so it will try it’s best to be in the comfort zone.

That’s the second-biggest reason we procrastinate.

3) No clear goals

goal setting

When I asked my friend, what do you want to do in your life? he replied,  I will do something in python programming. ( a programming language)

That’s not how things work, you need to be very clear what you want from your life. Now there are many things which you can do in python programming, you have to decide which side you are going to.

Sometimes people set goals, which are so big or unclear, which is why they procrastinate.

If your goal is too big, beyond your limits, it will make you feel like you can’t do it. You will have the doubt inside your mind, telling you, Dude it’s not your job.

Or if your goal is unclear Like,

  • I want to be rich.
  • What does it mean?
  • do you mean earning 10k or 100k per month?
  • which one means rich to you?

So these unclear, and unrealistic goals work as procrastinating viruses. If you have any of them, you will see a lack of motivation in yourself.

These are the three main reasons we procrastinate, of course, there are many, but these are the common ones.

Now I am going to show you, how to stop procrastinating so that you never procrastinate again.

How to stop procrastinating?

When you are about to do something( work, study, exercise) you are gonna procrastinate. that’s just human nature, what I call the default mode of Man.

But it does not mean, you can’t deal with this mode. You just need to know some of the tactics to actually defeat this mode.

So here I am going to explain all those tactics you need to kill procrastination.

1)break the pattern

You are not a procrastinator, you are procrastinating, there is a difference between the two – Mel Robbins

Mel Robbins says, procrastinating is a habit, which means there is science behind it. if you use that science in your favor you can win over procrastination.

Don’t wait for the moment to feel motivated, that’ never going to come. Because your mind always and always is going to avoid stress. So if you want to do something that involves stress, don’t expect to feel motivated.

How does the procrastination cycle work?

procrastination cycle

when you are procrastinating, there is a complete process behind it. Because of this process, you are repeating this habit again and again.

here is how it work.

  • there is a trigger ( stress)
  • you try to avoid stress ( pattern)
  • you get a reward ( stress relief)

When you think about that task you are going to do, it sends a message to your mind, “It’s hard“.

As a matter of fact, we don’t like hard things, our mind is not designed to do the hard things. Your mind knows if you do this activity, you are gonna be stressed.

Then there is a pattern, you avoid doing it, why you do it? Because you are always getting a reward, Reward for what? Stress relief.

When you avoid work, and instead watch movies or play games, you are giving instant rewards to your mind, to not take the stress. You have trained your mind to always avoid stress-related activities.

What to do? (Use 2 minutes rule)

2 minutes rule

James clear in his books Atomic Habits, talks about the two minutes rule, how we can make ourselves work?

When you think about 8 long hours of work, what you are doing? you are already telling your mind, big stress is waiting ahead, of course, you should give yourself stress Because, without stress, you can’t get something done.

But still, you can do a little better with a 2-minutes rule.

The idea is to break the habit. once you change your pattern of reacting to trigger(Stress), you will make it your habit, and regardless of feeling stressed, you will work.

80% of the people get going, when they are started, it’s just the headache of getting started.

You don’t have to deal with the trigger( Stress), you need to change your reaction to it, even if that reaction stays for 2 minutes only.

So if you Want to go to the gym and do exercise, then you just need to visit the gym and do exercise for 2 minutes maximum.

This way you are training your brain, to take action. For this time it will be 5-minutes only, but it will grow as you keep it doing consistently.

Does it work?

I kept this method on number one, Why? Because I have seen the results personally, I have applied this habit, and trust me it works.

I am not gonna brag about the results of others, it’s their life, I want to share How it changed me.

I wanted to do an intense workout right early in the morning, So I would always tell myself, I will go tomorrow, Next day I will visit the gym, but it didn’t’ happen.

Then I thought for an alternative, I started A simple walk early in the morning, i did it for at least 2 weeks, and the time I spent for walking grew day by day.

And then there came a day when I walked for 2 long hours, I was so proud of myself, I had confidence in myself, I knew that I can do hard things.

That was the time when I started going to the gym, and I have been doing it for more than a month, consistently, I started with an easy thing, but it helped me work on difficult things.

So that’s about the 2-minutes rule, apply it and I am sure you will get the results.

2) Make short term goals

make short term goals

One of the reasons, you are procrastinating is, that you think you have a lot of time.

Let’s say you want to learn any language, and have decided it will take 5-6 months to learn this language. Now you are happy, you have set up your goals for this month, but you don’t know what exactly are you going to do today.

When you wake up in the morning, and you don’t feel any pressure to complete a task, you will most probably leave it till the next day.

Why do short term goals work?

time managment

If there is a loin in front of you, what you are gonna do? will something distract you from thinking about this loin? No, you will immediately take an action, you will do whatever you can, but you won’t procrastinate at least.

That’s because our brain wants to do important things first, There is a priority for each task in our brain, the more important it seems, the better focus our mind gives to it.

So how can you make the current task so important, that your brain does not get distracted?

That can be done by making daily/weekly goals. here is why it works

  • Firstly you have less time
  • It feels more important
  • Your brain feels pressurized
  • It will want to avoid that pressure
  • thus your brain will compel you to work

The effects of long term goals

Unless you are a fortune-teller, long-term business planning is a fantasyJason Fried

When you set big goals, but you don’t have short term goals, you will fall into a procrastinating trap.

Here are 2 reasons long term goals, without short ones, demotivate you to work.

  • you have no sense of accomplishment.
  • big goals feel like a burden

If you don’t have short term goals,  you won’t feel motivated to do your work, that’s because there is no sense of accomplishment.  You never realize if really have done something.

Secondly, long term goals are so far, you never truly connect with your future self. it doesn’t even feel like it’s real, that’s why it will require you to have an enormous amount of patience.

How to set short term goals?

how to read book

Let’s say you want to read a book in 5 months, you can go for more, but don’t think of less than 5 months.

Your daily goals should be 2 pages per day, and your weekly goals will be 14 pages per week. That’s enough, Now don’t go too hard.

You don’t need to go hard at first, bear in mind, you are procrastinating, this is a habit, your first step is to get out of this trap, which you should do by taking small steps.

If you take big steps in the start, you will not be consistent, so first, just make a habit, when you have formed your habit, then you can go hard on yourself.

3) Don’t be lost

I am sure this happen when you wanted to work, but there was no idea what to do, and you asked yourself, Now what? what should I do?

Indecisiveness is one of the reasons we procrastinate, sometimes we don’t know what should we do, and that’s is why we put things on tomorrow.

read also: How to motivate yourself

Why we can’t get started?

load of taks

There are two reasons we can’t get started.

1) Loads of Tasks

2) No Task at all

Reason one, When you have to work on a lot of things, you get confused, you are completely lost, you don’t know where to start?  which one task to do first? that’s why you start to procrastinate.

For example in my case, When I started blogging, I was building two careers at the time, Computer science and blogging. So I would always get confused, which one to focus on, should I write blogs or focus more on my studies.

The second reason is, you have no task at all. You want to do something, but there is no direction to go, when you have completed one task and then you are blank, there is no idea what to do next.

This happened to me too, When I wrote my first topic, I had no idea what should be my next topic. I even wanted to leave blogging because I didn’t have enough ideas about what to write about.

So at this point, I had only one question, How to stop procrastinating? Then I came up with two solutions.

How to stop procrastinating and just get started?

how to stop procrastinating

To get started, you need these two Strategies of overcoming procrastination.

Prioritize the important

You need to know what’s more important, you just can’t do 10 things in 24 hours, because your focus will be shattered. Remember

If you have more then two priorities you have no priority at all

So better set your priorities, know what are those things, that contribute more to your life, and leave all those things which are unnecessary.

I prioritized what I wanted to do, My priority was to write a blog post at least every three days and give a little time to my professional degree. ( Computer science) The simple reason is I want to quit doing programming.

Plan your days

How would it be when you wake up having no task in your mind. it’s so hard to get started when you have no idea where to start from.

When I wrote my first post, I didn’t have ideas, so I would easily procrastinate. But then I took 2 days off and wrote 30 topic ideas, so when I am finished with one topic, I know what is next.

This makes writing very easy for me because I don’t have to do topic research, there is something prepared in advance.

When I applied these procrastination strategies, I saw a big change,

  • There is always something to do.
  • But one thing at a time.
  • This helps me focus on what I do.
  • And I am able to defeat procrastination.

So take a little time to plan your days, write down the tasks that you are going to complete this month.

This is exactly the answer to, how to stop procrastinating and get started.

4)Stop asking why are you procrastinating

don't blame yourself

You might have a project, that started one week before, but you didn’t do anything about it.

So now you are yelling at yourself, why am I procrastinating always? why didn’t I work? I should have done it till now.

Stop doing it! Because it’s not gonna yield good results, instead it will make you more stressed, It will make you feel worse about yourself, and you will not be able to take action,.

Instead of thinking why you are procrastinating, just get started, and do it. Remember

The best time to do something was 20 years ago, but the second-best time is now.

read also: how to overcome depression

5) Don’t be a perfectionist

dont be perfectionist

Don’t be a perfectionist! because you will never be perfect, we are humans we make mistakes, whatever you do, you can not avoid making mistakes.

If you wait for the perfect moment, you will do nothing but procrastinate.

When you try to be a perfectionist, you really waste your time, energy. you miss the chance of becoming successful.

One of the things you must know, that the perfect moment does not exit, instead, if you get started, you will have more time to do things, and you will gain experience.

You don’t get something done until you try and make mistakes, perfectionists are afraid of making mistakes, they try to do things, without making mistakes, for these perfectionists, there are very good examples to look for.

Just take the example of jack ma, he did a lot of mistakes, but he is still the 2nd most riches personality in china, that’s because he learned from his mistakes, you can’t get experience without try and fail, and if you don’t have experience why will you be successful?

Read also: habits of successful people

Reasons you should not be a perfectionist

perfection is procrastinationHere are the top 3 reasons you must not be a perfectionist.

  • you are less efficient
  • your time is wasted on tiny little details that don’t matter
  • you create problems that do not exist.

When you become a perfectionist, you are too much into the tiny little details, you create those problems, which are going to exist in the future.

Now mostly these problems don’t even come into existence, or if they do, they won’t matter so much.

So if you are procrastinating for the sake of a perfect moment, trust me you are wasting your time, start working being inexperienced and conquer the world.

I wasted my time being a perfectionist

When I was starting this blog, I waited for the perfect moment, and this patience was in fact a waste of time.

I had to start this blog in April, but unfortunately, I did in July, I thought I will get enough information then I will start, but all in vain. I wish if I had started this blog way before.

So from my own experience, I can tell you, being a perfectionist is bullshit.

6) Eat that frog

eat that frog

Eat that frog is a book, written by Brian Tracy, Who is an expert in habit building.

Imagine you have to eat a frog every day, which would be the best time to eat it. obviously, morning is the best time to eat that live frog.

Brian Tracy refers frog to important tasks, If you do your most important and difficult task early in the morning, you will get better.

why does it work?

Because early in the morning,

  • Our willpower is always high.
  • We don’t have anything bad going inside our minds.
  • You will have a sense of accomplishment.

When you have completed the important task early in the morning, it will increase your level of confidence and self-esteem, and then you will want to do more and more.

How to eat that frog

Brian Tracy has mentioned some steps to follow,  to stop procrastinating and eat that frog.

  • decide what you want.
  • be clear.
  • make a deadline for your goals.
  • organize and make a plan.
  • take action.
  • learn each day about your topic.

When you are making your goals, be crystal clear about what you want, and I have already discussed it, above in the post.

So that’s how to stop procrastinating, by eating the sweet frog early in the morning.

7) Connect with experts

When you are on the journey of completing a goal, you really need to connect with industry experts.

Especially when you are just starting, in the beginning, you need more of their advice, to avoid mistakes, and keep doing what you are doing.

They are actually the living proof of your dreams, it makes you believe in yourself that what you are doing has a result, you are not just passing your time.

why you need expert advice?

take expert advice

One of the reasons you are procrastinating is, you don’t have a strong belief in yourself. You are like, is it even going to pay me something in the future or I am just wasting my time.

And of course, there are ups and downs in life, if you don’t have a mentor you will be demotivated, and thus procrastinate.

Here are 3 reasons you need expert advice.

  • they motivate you.
  • you realize the worth of your work.
  • They will uncover the covered truths.

Read also: Why motivation is important?

How expert advice helped me stop procrastinating?

I would always procrastinate about, what’s the future of blogging? should I write blogs? will someone even read my blog?

These were the questions, that I would always procrastinate about, and I was not able to take decisions and start blogging.

But then I came across a blogger, who wrote about blogging, and he touched my heart, from there I never procrastinated about blogging.

He said,

there will be a time when no one will be reading your blog, At this point, you will ask yourself, why am I even writing when no one is gonna read? what’s the purpose of all this? Everyone has faced it, and I did it too. But if you stay patient, you will get the results.

This changed my mind, and if you stick with your mentors you will get such advice, which may be life-changing.

So don’t ask everyone how to stop procrastinating, instead listen to your industry experts more and more.


First of all, I want you to remember, that you are not a procrastinator, you are procrastinating.

It’s a habit, you can deal with it, If you don’t believe you can change yourself, then you will never be able to change. The important thing is to be ready for the change, that’s the best advice I can give you.

I suggest you start very small, with the 2-minutes rule, the habit which you want to make should be very easy and light, you must not feel the burden when you think about your work.

The whole purpose of the article is to give you a blueprint on, how you can change your habit of procrastination? you need to break this habit, so to break one habit you will need to replace it with another habit.

Now if the new habit is harder than the previous one, chances are you will go back to your previous habit, and you will keep asking how to stop procrastinating…..

If I had to summarize the whole article in one sentence it would be, just do it for a short time. The point is to just get started, break this habit, make it your habit to do work, let it be a little work, but just do it.

that’s it about how to stop procrastinating.

The end…….

if you think I missed an idea, or you loved any of these ideas, then I would love to hear your views in the comment section.


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